Psychophobia: what is it and how to manage it?
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Psychophobia: what is it and how to deal with it?
Psychophobia: what is it and how to manage it? We have explained the details of the news, step by step, below. Psychophobia: what is it and how to deal with it? Keep reading our news. Here are all the details on the subject.
Psychophobia: what is it and how to manage it?
Psychophobia is a reflection of a form of discrimination in modern society towards people with psychological disorders. Explanation on this phenomenon.
According to figures given by the Mutualité Française, 1 in 5 people are affected each year by at least one mental disorder. Depression, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, addictions, eating disorders… 12 millions of people would therefore be affected, i.e. around 19% Population.
This figure, often unrecognized or attenuated, nevertheless reflects an important reality. People with mental illnesses or suffering from psychological disorders are often the object of systematic oppression in society. This oppression is called psychophobia. It is a form of discrimination that weighs on the lives of those affected on a daily basis. How does this translate? By the marginalization of these individuals compared to the rest of the population considered to be “sane”.
What is psychophobia?
How to concretely define psychophobia? This term covers all the oppressions suffered by people suffering from psychological disorders and / or mental illnesses. From acute anxiety to chronic depression, including bipolarity and schizophrenia, all psychological and mental disorders are affected. N$typicals are also part of it: they are all types of cognitive functioning that differ from the standard recognized by our society. We speak in particular of disorders falling within the spectrum of autism, Asperger’s syndrome or dyslexia.
Psychophobia contributes to fueling the validist system which would like only “standard” individuals, free from any weakness, to have access to all areas of society. It is a very specific type of discrimination, aimed at people who are said to be psychically disabled (and constituting the leading cause of disability in France).
Since it is systemic, this discrimination has integrated our daily life without necessarily paying attention to it. It is part of the entire system and can thus be found at several levels of society: access to employment, healthcare, housing, physical attacks and trivialized daily violence, for example.
First difficulty: the diagnosis
The very first difficulty encountered by a victim of psychophobia is the difficulty of diagnosis. In general, certain psychological disorders can be diagnosed and therefore treated late, which further slows their recovery. It has been proven that a suspected disorder is, in fact, often difficult to be recognized and taken care of.
In the absence of regular follow-up, the stigma becomes even more virulent, creating more suffering. Some healthcare professionals can take a long time, sometimes too long, to figure out what ailment the person is really suffering from. Different diagnoses can even be made, making treatment particularly complicated. The affected person then finds himself trapped in a downward spiral, an endless and destructive vicious circle.
One of the explanations could be found in the fact that psychiatry is ultimately a fairly recent discipline, compared to other medical specialties. Clinically, it may happen that certain mental illnesses are still poorly understood. Schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, acute and resistant depression… these disorders are, however, brain diseases that require treatment, like other pathologies of the body.
The whole stake of psychophobia is this tenacious prejudice on psychiatric disorders in our society. Some believe, for example, that a schizophrenic should not be able to work or that a bipolar person should not become a parent. So many considerations that reflect the lack of information on the subject and the fear of so-called “sane” people of one day falling into what they commonly call madness.
The psychiatrization of society, a very real trend
We call psychiatrization the fact of using terms from the field of mental illness to insult someone: the famous “you’re crazy”, “bipolar” or even “you’re schizo” …
This trend is problematic in many ways. Madness is then considered as a defect which contributes to the stigmatization of mental illnesses. Even more so in our society where psychiatry is frightening and even leads in some cases to a feeling of rejection. We run away from madness, we don’t want to see or understand it. In the professional field, for example, we see that people with these mental disorders are much less visible and under-represented, especially in high-placed or power positions.
The phenomenon of psychiatrization is used as a baseless attack. In everyday life, this can take different forms, such as for example virulent criticisms based on mental illness as to mean that the disorder is more serious than the behavior. Unconsciously, the one who psychiatrists his words transmits a strong feeling of guilt to the one who is affected by a mental disorder.
Instead of pathologizing, therefore of excusing, we accuse. And that is all the difference. The mental disorder is no longer a mitigating element but rather an element of bitter accusation.
To fight against this drift, several associations have emerged. In particular the association Comme des fous which tries to change the way society looks at madness. The associative team would like to change mentalities by ceasing to relegate all harmful and unacceptable behaviors to the category of mental illnesses.
Psychophobia and difficulty in accessing employment
According to INSEE, the share of people with disabilities in the working population (including those with a health problem other than psychological) is , only 1%, or about 2.7 million people.
It has been found that individuals with psychological difficulties find it much more difficult to find a job. This, in addition to the risk of stigmatization from the hierarchy and colleagues. In the collective unconscious, mental illnesses have a direct impact on the daily life of those affected. In particular on their student or professional life. The representation that we have of mental illness is erroneous and does not take into account the reality of what these individuals experience, who are much more often victims of their environment than dangerous for others.
In addition, the psychological suffering felt is all the harder to endure and manage as the handicap is invisible and gives rise to often extensive (or even illegal) interrogations on the part of certain recruiters. Everything is done to find out “what is wrong with the patient”.
However, a distinction should be made between psychoses which allow one to live relatively normally and those which greatly interfere with daily life. Thus, it is certain that depression is not considered in the same way as a heavy psychotic find like schizophrenia for example.
The company, often unsuitable for employees suffering from mental disorders
When patients arrive at a position (generally not a position of high responsibility), the company is often ill-suited to the pathology or the disorders. Indeed, it is not uncommon for these patients to require special adjustments in their schedule. They also face more complex times than others, where they may need more time to refocus on themselves and be on their own. However, this can create a certain skepticism among the employer as to the capacity of the recruited to manage an agenda and to carry out the tasks requested within the allotted time.
Some patients therefore camouflage their troubles, for fear of not appearing reliable and competent enough.
And it is true that the collective links certain unfortunate synonyms to specific disorders. Like instability in bipolarity and laziness in chronic depression. When they hide their troubles and do not ask for specific accommodations for fear of psychophobia, these people are more likely than others to suffer from burnout. And it sometimes takes long procedures for an employer to finally agree to implement certain arrangements, such as teleworking or a therapeutic half-time.
For students, the situation is also difficult. It is not uncommon to see students, despite being given a third time for their exams, to be subjected to criticism and painful remarks. Some students ask to benefit from lighter hours, but do not obtain them. Applying for disability recognition is often a long and arduous process.
Psychophobia and difficulty accessing housing
Since those with psychophobia find it difficult to fit into the professional world, they tend to have fewer financial resources than others. This poverty makes it difficult to access housing. Many homeless people suffer from serious psychiatric disorders. In addition, for those receiving an AAH (disabled adult allowance), it would also appear more difficult to be able to find decent accommodation and to keep it.
Certain testimonies highlight certain problems, which are added to those already existing. Private landlords would be quite cautious at the idea of leaving their accommodation to recipients of pensions for mental disabilities. This, especially since the rental conditions are often very strict: income conditions and high rents.
Access to conventional care more complicated?
Some patients with psychiatric problems say that discrimination does not end at the doors of employment and housing. Psychophobia is also said to be practiced within the hospital itself, which sometimes finds it difficult to take these patients seriously.
Some physical pain, the cause of which may be difficult to find, also tends to be attributed to anxiety or depression. The symptoms are then not treated as such, thus delaying the diagnosis of certain pathologies. This is particularly the case with Crohn’s disease which is accompanied by severe pain in the stomach, and on which it is not always easy to make a medical diagnosis.
Attacks on self-esteem and psychophobia
Many individuals suffering from psychiatric disorders note the significant impact of this psychophobic society on their self-esteem. It also has implications for acceptance of the disorder and its associated treatment.
Our system, especially designed for mentally valid people, in fact leads to self-stigmatization in a large proportion of patients. The latter may then have a tendency not to verbalize their difficulties, to withdraw and to resign themselves. Some speak of destructive damage to self-esteem.
People who are schizophrenic or bipolar can thus find it difficult to love and accept themselves when society associates schizophrenia and bipolarity with extreme danger, even murder. These patients tend to isolate themselves, which further reinforces the weight of the stigma. A disease excluded by society leads to a higher level of refusal on the part of the patient, who can then reject the diagnosis and treatment Self-exclusion is a phenomenon well known to physicians, with the discontinuation of treatment and the consequences that it can have for the patient and his entourage. Others take a long time to push open the door of a specialist, under the weight of prejudices and for fear of the diagnosis.
How to fight against psychophobia ?
If the phenomenon of psychophobia is hard to eradicate, it is nevertheless necessary to change mentalities through certain gestures:
A strengthening of the role of psychiatrists and researchers on the very general question of mental health and related disorders.
Very focused on pyscho and sexo subjects, Leila Gheiro is a versatile journalist who loves to vary the themes and explore subjects to tackle it in all its …
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